WA teammate backing Agar to turn it on again
ASHTON Agar has a modest 45.14 average for Western Australia so far in this summer's Sheffield Shield competition with just seven wickets to his name.
But state teammate Shaun Marsh believes he will be ready for his second attempt at locking up a Test spot.
Agar became an overnight sensation on his Test debut against England last year, but that was with the bat when he made 98 - the highest score by a No.11 batsman.
The left-arm orthodox spinner, at just 19 back then, was chosen to perform with the ball
But he was dumped from the Australian team after just one more Test, conceding a total of 248 runs for a mere two wickets in both games.
Now at 21, Marsh believes Agar has matured since the 2013 Ashes and will perform well against India on a traditionally turning SCG deck, for the fourth Test starting next Tuesday.
That is despite Agar seemingly leap-frogging New South Welshman Steve O'Keefe (nine Shield wickets at 28.44) and Queensland leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (eight wickets at 35.50).
"I think his (Agar's) consistency has been there this year," Marsh said.
"It's something he lacked last year and he'll probably say that to you.
"I think he's bowled fantastically well this year for WA.
"He's learning every game he's playing so, if he does play, he'll be ready to go."
And that is the great question going into the Sydney Test - will Australia play two spinners, with Agar now included in the squad?
Australia's incumbent spinner Nathan Lyon has had an impressive Border-Gavaskar series so far, taking 19 wickets from the first three Tests.
Paceman Ryan Harris took out man-of-the-match honours in the drawn third Test in Melbourne with six wickets and 74 with the bat in the first innings.
But he seems to continually be battling pain and is only recently back from knee surgery.
Agar could come in for the veteran 35-year-old if selectors choose to rest him for the second time this series.
Meanwhile, Marsh said the sudden retirement of India captain MS Dhoni would be a big loss for the tourists. "He (Dhoni) has been a fantastic player for India for a long period of time and him coming out at No.7 - it's going to leave a big hole in their side," Marsh said.
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